all of which were now open to them and asking.
Were they allies? Were they enemies? How long
would they endure?
So some random light directing them from
an uncovered star, or wandering ship, or the
Lighthouse even, with its pale footfall upon stair
and mat, the little airs mounted the staircase and
nosed round bedroom doors. But here surely, they
must cease. Whatever else may perish and dis-
appear what lies here is steadfast. Here one might
say to those sliding lights, those fumbling airs, that
breathe and bend over the bed itself, here you can
neither touch nor destroy. Upon which, wearily,
ghostlily, as if they had feather-light fingers and
the light persistency of feathers, they would look,
once, on the shut eyes and the loosely clasping
fingers, and fold their garments wearily and dis-
appear. And so, nosing, rubbing, they went to
the window on the staircase, to the servants'
bedrooms, to the boxes in the attics; descending,
blanched the apples on the dining-room table,
fumbled the petals of roses, tried the picture on
the easel, brushed the mat and blew a little sand
along the floor. At length, desisting, all ceased
together, gathered together, all sighed together;
all together gave off an aimless gust of lamentation
to which some door in the kitchen replied; swung
wide; admitted nothing; and slammed to.